Scary Pagan Holidays: Lughnassadh

Last week it was Lammas, the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest, so my sisters and I took the afternoon off. Big Sister spent the day making corn chowder with vegetables we’d picked up from the farmer’s market earlier in the week, while I picked up candles and Little Sister. Little Sister’s friend texted her to ask if she wanted to hang out; she said she was busy, it was a pagan holiday, and she was celebrating with family. He responded, “Well, I don’t judge. I’m just as depraved as the next person.”

We wondered if he was imagining an orgy, laughed at his decision that we were full of depravity, and went to pick up some cupcakes for the celebration. It took us twenty minutes to pick out five cupcakes. So many cupcakes, so little time.

After we made a quick pit stop at my house to make some cornbread (Lammas is, after all, a celebration of first fruits, and there’s corn in spades this time of year) and shower, we zipped off to Big Sister’s house. When we got there, we handed her the cornbread to put in the oven and went outside to clean up the area we were going to eat in/set up the cauldron so we could have a fire. I did not buy enough floating candles. Lighting them was a pain in the ass, and so, it turns out, is filling a cast iron cauldron from a wall spigot sans a hose. But we figured it out eventually. While the chowder finished simmering, we watched an episode of Buffy.

We set the table, brought food outside, and ate together while we told embarrassing family stories. We laughed a lot. We made corn dollies and sat around the cauldron talking for a few hours. There was a Very Serious Ceremonial Reading of Gary Snyder’s Smoky the Bear Sutra. Then we ate cupcakes.

When it got late we cleaned up so Big Sister could get to bed, and then Little Sister and I wandered off to the arts district and spent an hour talking to a guy who was restoring a loom from the 1860s.

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About November Jones

November Jones lives in a small but very colorful house with three cats and her very noisy partner, codename: Batman.

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